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Thread: Battery Charging Question

  1. #1

    Default Battery Charging Question

    I installed a battery last summer to power my fish finder. Am I fine just leaving the battery for the winter, then charging it in the spring, or do I need to keep it charged up during the winter, even through I wont be using it until spring?

    I would rather not have to charge it if I don't need to, as that's just one more thing to remember to monitor!

    Thanks!

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger01 View Post
    I installed a battery last summer to power my fish finder. Am I fine just leaving the battery for the winter, then charging it in the spring, or do I need to keep it charged up during the winter, even through I wont be using it until spring?

    I would rather not have to charge it if I don't need to, as that's just one more thing to remember to monitor!

    Thanks!
    You are going to need to keep it charged all winter long. I will hook mine up to a trickle-charge every two months to make sure it stays in the proper range. Check the link below for all the info you'll probably need.

    http://www.power-sonic.com/index.php?id=95

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    As long as it's fully charged and there is no draw on it, it will be fine for the winter; however, I would pull it and put it on a trickle charger for the winter just to be safe. That's much cheaper insurance than buying a new battery in the spring.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  4. #4

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    You can leave it out fully charged and it will be fine. They are right. Here's my answer: mine are in the garage where it is warm. In my humble opinion there is nothing worse than getting the cover off the boat to go fishing and doing all the other preparations to find that you can't go fishing because your battery is dead. It pretty much wrecks it for me.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Batteries that are allowed to drop below 55 to 60% capacity will have a shorter service-life. A standard sealed marine battery will fall into this range within 2-3 months of storage, even with the terminals disconnected. If the battery is kept in a warm environment, such as a garage or heated basement, then the battery will discharge at an even faster rate of around 1-2 months. If you want to get the most life and capacity out of your marine battery, then you will need to keep it charged during any extended storage period.

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    Thanks everyone for your replies--that's what I need to know!

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    All I do is to disconnect the negative terminal to insure the battery can not be discharged and leave it on the boat. Been doing it this way for decades and the batteries are just fine in the spring.
    Tennessee

  8. #8

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    Good tips! We take out our ATV & boat batteries and keep them in the cabin (even when we're not there it doesn't get below 50 degrees inside). We set them on cardboard and drape paper towels over the top of them. They seem to give off gas and the papertowels absorb that as it happens. Didn't realize about shortening the life of the batteries if they're not trickle charged; have to take that into consideration.
    Jim
    Last edited by Big Jim; 01-03-2009 at 22:56. Reason: punctuation

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    If you pull your battery, DO NOT store it on a cold cement floor. Put it on a piece of wood.cardboard/spare carpet. Better yet, put it on a shelf.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    You might want to invest in a battery maintenance charger. You can get a small unit that will sit in the boat (if it is close to a power outlet) or you can pull the battery, stick it on a shelf and hook one of these up to it and walk away until spring. Here is one spot to look at some of them:

    http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-...rine-chargers/
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    Batteries that are allowed to drop below 55 to 60% capacity will have a shorter service-life. A standard sealed marine battery will fall into this range within 2-3 months of storage, even with the terminals disconnected. If the battery is kept in a warm environment, such as a garage or heated basement, then the battery will discharge at an even faster rate of around 1-2 months. If you want to get the most life and capacity out of your marine battery, then you will need to keep it charged during any extended storage period.
    I totally agree. However, if they are kept outside in the cold and under 5 feet of snow beneath the boat tarp, they are not very likely to get charged. Which of course, is why I keep mine in the garage on a shelf. I charge them about once a month. To be honest, on the lowest setting, they are fully charged again in less than five minutes.

    While others have said leave it on the trickle charger, I wouldn't. I have lost many batteries that way. My experience is that they for some reason overcharge them, the cells dry out, and the plates are then ruined from overheating. Maybe it was just my trickle charger, I don't know. But, after frying a couple batteries I caught on. You may have a comletely different experience.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    While others have said leave it on the trickle charger, I wouldn't. I have lost many batteries that way.
    You're absolutely right... do not use a trickle charger for storage purposes. You must use a battery maintainer that is designed for long term storage. Instead of a constant trickle, they actually monitor the voltage and once it drops below a certain level it will start the trickle charge to bring the battery back up to capacity. Then it will stop charging. Depending on the battery, it may apply a charge every couple weeks or every couple months. But it only charges when the battery actually needs it. A real battery maintainer is going to cost over $40, while a typical little trickle charger might be $15. Don't get the the cheap one.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    If you pull your battery, DO NOT store it on a cold cement floor. Put it on a piece of wood.cardboard/spare carpet. Better yet, put it on a shelf.

    Just curious, why would storing a battery on a cold cement floor hurt it?
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Just curious, why would storing a battery on a cold cement floor hurt it?
    It's not the because the floor is cold, it is due to the fact that the battery can discharge at a quick rate when it has a ground source directly beneath it. I store my battery on a small rubber mat on the floor of my garage, and that's where it stays for the entire off season.

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    Left mine out last year and they were dead
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  16. #16

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    [quote=Snowwolfe;404278]Just curious, why would storing a battery on a cold cement floor hurt it?[/quot

    It doesn't.

  17. #17
    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Okay, so I had to try a little research to back up my earlier statement that storing a battery on concrete is a big no-no. I was taught by my grandfather and dad to always store the battery on a piece of wood or rubber mat to keep the electrolytes from leaching through the case via grounding. Turns out that this theory is no longer correct with today's modern batteries. It was proven that they will discharge at the same rate, whether they're on the floor or a shelf. Here's a quote directly from the PS battery manufacturer's website...

    Storing a battery on concrete will discharge it quicker- Long ago, when battery cases were made out of natural rubber, this was true. Now, however, battery cases are made of polypropylene or other modern materials that allow a battery to be stored anywhere. A battery's rate of discharge is affected by its construction, its age, and the ambient temperature. The main issue with storing on concrete is that if the battery leaks, the concrete will be damaged.

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    Okay, so I had to try a little research to back up my earlier statement that storing a battery on concrete is a big no-no. I was taught by my grandfather and dad to always store the battery on a piece of wood or rubber mat to keep the electrolytes from leaching through the case via grounding. Turns out that this theory is no longer correct with today's modern batteries. It was proven that they will discharge at the same rate, whether they're on the floor or a shelf. Here's a quote directly from the PS battery manufacturer's website...

    Storing a battery on concrete will discharge it quicker- Long ago, when battery cases were made out of natural rubber, this was true. Now, however, battery cases are made of polypropylene or other modern materials that allow a battery to be stored anywhere. A battery's rate of discharge is affected by its construction, its age, and the ambient temperature. The main issue with storing on concrete is that if the battery leaks, the concrete will be damaged.
    Thanks for the update...us old guys are use to the old ways Thanks.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I was one to always put the battery on a block of wood, guess I dont have to bother with that anymore.
    Interesting article on batteries from BoatUS

    http://www.boatus.com/news/Tech_0109.pdf

    I have been putting seasonal use batteries on a "maintenance type" charger such as a battery tender for the last few years

    http://batterytender.com/why_batterytender.php

    Either it works or I am buying better batteries that I use too

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    If you pull your battery, DO NOT store it on a cold cement floor. Put it on a piece of wood.cardboard/spare carpet. Better yet, put it on a shelf.
    This logic still applies, even today, unless you have a heated floor. A cold concrete pad will zap the juice quick like. Ask me how how know! I keep all my batteries off season above the floor for this reason.

    Lots of good battery maintainers out there, that use a Float Charge Mode, to protect them from overcharging.
    SP
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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